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Danny Gregory: I help you make art again

by Danny Gregory

Each Friday, I send advice, ideas, stories and tips to 20K creative people like you. Author of 13 best-selling books on creativity. Founder of Sketchbook Skool w 50k+ students

Featured Post

🤑 Miser!

My name is Danny. And I’m a miser. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s hereditary. My grandparents were misers too. They’d hoard cans of food in a locked pantry, shelves and shelves of beans and corn, oysters, and Vienna sausages. Drawers full of folded grocery bags and rubber bands. Closets full of bottles with an inch of mystery liquid crusting the bottom of each one. ‘Cause, well, you never know when they could come in handy. When they were both finally dead, we...

3 days ago • 2 min read

Art Supply of the month: the G-Nib Hi Reader: Since I was in my teens, I’ve had this fantasy of being a guy in a tie and shirtsleeves, maybe wearing a bowler and a chewed cigar butt, sitting at a drawing table cranking out cartoons for a big city paper. So many of my drawing heroes fit this image. Milton Canniff Hal Foster Walt Kelly Walt Disney Instead, I’m a guy in sweatpants at a laptop, sipping vegetable juice. Anyways, one of the essentials all these guys had was a bottle of India ink...

6 days ago • 4 min read

For the first time in forever, we are taking a little vacation. Sitting on the beach, drawing palm trees, reading trashy novels, drinking cocktails with umbrellas. And not working. That’s the hard part — but I know it’s important to clear head space and regroup. So, no essay this week. However, I do have a couple of ways for you to fill the chasm my absence has undoubtedly created in your life. 1. Go to the library and read some of my old stuff. There’s a lot of it. (If this is your first...

10 days ago • 1 min read

💖 June Stuff I like Hi Reader: 🦘 Sketching Matilda. I’m particularly intrigued by old diaries and sketchbooks from long-gone, unknown artists. As I leaf through the pages, I can’t help conjuring up stories to link these images and events into a narrative, imagining what the artist was like and what they were up to as they drew each page. Here’s a lovely example from 19th-century Australia full of sketches, watercolors, and notes. Link 🔎 A little note. I am eagerly awaiting a package from...

13 days ago • 2 min read

When I open my to-do app — it’s called Todoist — It’s often filled with assignments that weren’t put there by me. At least not the me I am right now. You see, there’s a version of me that no longer exists. I call him “Past Me.” He was here yesterday or last week, or last year, and he made decisions that Today Me has to abide by. Many of the assignments are things Past Me didn’t do when he was Today Me, and now I have to do them. Or delegate them to Future Me. Past Me is responsible for many...

17 days ago • 1 min read

My plague journal. Hi Reader: In February 2020, we put our New York apartment on the market, and our realtor set up an open house for the following weekend. Wanting to be out of the way, we had arranged to go to Palm Springs, CA, to meet up with my son, his girlfriend, and my sister- and brother-in-law. Meanwhile, there were mounting rumors about COVID. We discussed canceling our trip, but we had already paid for the tickets and the Airbnb. My sister had traveled on a plane the week and...

20 days ago • 6 min read

Last weekend, we were working on a new jigsaw on the kitchen table. It was a painting of dozens of classic paperbacks, many of which I’d read back in high school. 1984. Howl. Great Gatsby. Old Man and the Sea. I remember almost every cover well. As we were well into the puzzle, a weird thing started to happen. I would pick up one of the 1000 pieces and immediately know where it went. Sometimes, I would reach across Jenny to a far corner and bloop the piece just snapped into place. Whoa. Jenny...

24 days ago • 4 min read

Your life in ______. Hi Reader: T.S. Eliot wrote, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” How do you measure your life? In years? In paychecks? For a change, I want to share a video with you this week. It's an experiment in recording my life through various lenses (haircuts, cars, dogs). I included it in my new course, "Your Illustrated Life," but I thought you might like it too. If you're inspired to try it yourself, look at the notes under the video. You'll find more ideas,...

27 days ago • 1 min read

Creativity is an incredible gift. But it’s also a heavy burden. Like Peter Parker, whose spidey-sense makes him alert to any danger around him, we artists feel everything. It’s our job. We have a deep awareness of the world around us, tuning in on every nuance. We see hidden patterns, details, emotions, sensations, and impressions that others never notice. We are deeply empathetic to other people’s feelings. And we train ourselves to become even more sensitive. If I sit and draw a portrait, I...

about 1 month ago • 3 min read

💖 May Stuff I like and think you might too Hi Reader: Snip, snip. Maybe it’s because we don’t get that many magazines anymore, but I forget about the possibilities of collage. Revue Collé is a wonderful resource that reminded me of all the possibilities. An inspiring library and a weekly newsletter. Now, where's my glue stick? Link Color Me Curious. I never tire of self-examination. “How Are You Doing?” is a tool designed to help you understand your emotions and reactions through color...

about 1 month ago • 1 min read
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